Best Current American Football Players (2023 Update)
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There will be surprises along the way. The greatest quarterback in NFL history isn’t No. 1. Meanwhile, a handful of players from the 2021 NFL Draft proved so much as rookies that they earned prominent spots in the NFL top 100 list with solid starts to the 2022 campaign.
Let us know what you think of our NFL top 100 player rankings. Updates will be provided on a semi-weekly basis throughout the 2022 NFL season. Let’s dive into the list.
There are some stark differences between Sportsnaut’s NFL top 100 players list and what the NFL itself revealed. As former Pro Bowl offensive tackle, Andrew Whitworth notes, though, the NFL top 100 players list is largely fraudulent. Very few players take the top-20 ballot seriously, often putting all their teammates or friends down. Let that shape your evaluation when comparing the two lists.
NFL top 100 players: Ranking the best current American football players in 2023
Stats via ESPN, Pro Football Focus, and Pro Football Reference
100. Courtland Sutton, wide receiver, Denver Broncos
A second-round pick back in 2018, Sutton jumped onto the scene in his first two NFL seasons — catching 114 passes for 1,816 yards and 10 touchdowns. The torn ACL he suffered one game into the 2020 campaign impacted Sutton big time over the next two seasons. He’s now back playing at the level of his old self with 24 receptions for 343 yards through four games in 2022.
99. Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, Miami Dolphins
Despite being the center of the NFL’s latest concussion scandal, Tua opened the 2022 season on fire. In the process, he quieted skeptics big time. That included a six-touchdown performance in a historic comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2. He’s completing 70% of his passes with eight touchdowns and three interceptions for a league-best 109.9 QB rating in 2022. We just hope this former Alabama star can get back on the field here soon.
98. Christian Darrisaw, offensive tackle, Minnesota Vikings
A first-round pick of the Vikings back in 2021, Darrisaw started 10 games as a rookie last season. He didn’t necessarily stand out too much. It’s what we’ve seen from the Virginia Tech product in 2022 that has people opening their eyes. Leading an offensive line that has seen Kirk Cousins sacked just seven times in four games, Darrisaw has not committed a penalty or allowed a sack in four games. He certainly looks like a franchise blindside protector and makes his first appearance in Sportsnaut’s list of the best NFL players.
97. Jamin Davis, linebacker, Washington Commanders
Washington received some flack for exhausting a top-20 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on a linebacker when it had needs elsewhere. Through 20 career games, Davis has proven the skeptics wrong. He’s allowed just eight catches on 15 targets while missing a mere one tackle in 202 defensive snaps this season and is one of the few bright spots for a struggling Commanders team.
96. Jaquan Brisker, safety, Chicago Bears
Chicago has very few potential franchise cornerstones. But we must count this rookie second-round pick from Penn State among them. Brisker stood out in coverage during his days with the Nittany Lions and was getting first-round play leading up to the draft. From the preseason on, he’s shown why. Thus far as a rookie, Brisker has given up a 28.6% completion mark and a 39.6 QB rating when targeted. Opposing signal callers have thrown for all of 34 yards in the 14 targets that have come his way. That’s insane.
95. Haason Reddick, EDGE, Philadelphia Eagles
We hailed Reddick as an underrated free-agent signing this past March. Now starring for the undefeated Eagles, he’s proven why. The former top-13 pick of the Arizona Cardinals is finally playing his more natural pass-rush role. It’s led to Reddick racking up 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and three quarterback hits through just four games. He also earned NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4.
94. Miles Sanders, running back, Philadelphia Eagles
No one expected Sanders to be on any list focusing on the NFL top 100 this season. But here we are. He’s absolutely dominating for the undefeated Eagles, accumulating 356 rushing yards and three touchdowns at a clip of 4.9 yards per rush through four weeks. What a way to start your contract year, Mr. Sanders.
93. Amon-Ra St. Brown, wide receiver, Detroit Lions
Prior to a recent injury, St. Brown was on a historic tear. That included matching the NFL record for the most consecutive games with at least eight receptions (eight). The former USC star has put up 113 receptions for 1,165 yards while catching an absurd 74% of his targets through 20 career games. That seems pretty good.
92. Jessie Bates III, safety, Cincinnati Bengals
Bothered by his contract situation in 2021, Jessie Bates didn’t play up to his usual standard. With that said, he showed some of his elite forms during the playoff run. Ultimately, the 2022 season will really determine whether Bates drops off the NFL top 100 players list or moves up. Thus far, he’s dropped down a tad after yielding a 75% completion mark and 103.1 QB rating through four games.
91. Cameron Heyward, defensive lineman, Pittsburgh Steelers
Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt were about the only positives on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense last year. The 295-pound defensive lineman recorded 46 stops and 61 total pressures, serving as a brick wall against the run and causing destruction as a pass rusher. That has not been the case in his Age-33 season with Heyward having recorded two QB hits and one sack in four games.
90. Michael Onwenu, guard, New England Patriots
Versatility is a unique skill for offensive linemen. Michael Onwenu, the New England Patriots’ sixth-round pick in 2020, brings that to the table. He lined up at both guard spots and right tackle in 2021, while also serving as a third tackle on the field. Oh, he’s also a freight train as a run blocker. Thus far this season, PFF grades him as the second-best pass-blocking guard in the NFL. That’s impressive.
89. Talanoa Hufanga, safety, San Francisco 49ers
Hufanga has come out of nowhere to become one of the elite safeties in the NFL. A fifth-round pick out of USC back in 2021, he’s a playmaker in the truest sense of the word. Matthew Stafford found that out when the young defensive back sealed a Week 4 win over the Los Angeles Rams with a pick-six. Through four weeks, Hufanga is Pro Football Focuses’ second-ranked safety. He’s racked up four passes defended, four tackles for loss, and two interceptions while yielding a 38.1 QB rating when targeted. Yeah, this kid is good.
88. Jonathan Allen, defensive tackle, Washington Commanders
On a defensive line with plenty of big names, Jonathan Allen slides under the radar. Incredibly, per Pro Football Focus, he ranks fourth among all defensive tackles in quarterback pressures (114) since 2020. It’s obvious why the Washington Commanders didn’t hesitate on signing that $72 million extension.
87. Laremy Tunsil, offensive tackle, Houston Texans
The most important job for a left tackle is protecting the quarterback. It’s precisely why, despite being in a rebuild, the Houston Texans are keeping Laremy Tunsil. While he might not be the most reliable run blocker, it’s the ability to keep Davis Mills’ jersey clean that makes Tunsil invaluable to Houston.
86. Bobby Wagner, linebacker, Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams have needed a dependable linebacker on the inside for years, Bobby Wagner fills the void. Age is catching up to him some, taking away some of his athleticism and limiting his effectiveness in coverage. With that acknowledged, the instincts and leadership are still there. He’s proven this through four games with Los Angeles, putting up two sacks and yielding just 41 yards on seven pass targets.
85. Matthew Stafford, quarterback, Los Angeles Rams
At times, Matthew Stafford looks like the No. 1 quarterback in football. Then you’ll see dumbfounding decisions that result in interceptions, especially pick-sixes. The good far outweighed the bad up until recently. Stafford leads the NFL in interceptions with six this season and has tallied 14 picks compared to 12 touchdowns over his past eight regular-season stats. He drops dramatically in our updated NFL top 100 list.
84. Dalvin Cook, running back, Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook is starting to miss more time with injuries, partially a product of the hits he takes and his running style. When Cook isn’t banged up or on the sideline, he is an electric runner who is equally capable of turning a screen into 30-plus yards. As Minnesota shifts to a more pass-oriented offense, it should bode well for Cook’s durability and efficiency.
83. Charvarius Ward, cornerback, San Francisco 49ers
An underrated free-agent signing of San Francisco this past spring, Ward showed signs of greatness during his time in Kansas City. The question was whether he’d ever become a true shutdown guy. That looks to be the case in DeMeco Ryans’ defense with Ward having given up a 45.5% completion mark and 38.3 QB rating in four games. He’s also allowed just 91 yards on 22 targets.
82. CeeDee Lamb, wide receiver, Dallas Cowboys
CeeDee Lamb could be a lot higher on this list by December. The Dallas Cowboys felt confident enough in him to trade away Amari Cooper for practically nothing, thrusting Lamb into the No. 1 receiver role. After some initial struggles this season, Lamb has picked it up (21 receptions, 259 yards, and 2 TD in the past three games).
81. Russell Wilson, quarterback, Denver Broncos
Putting Mr. Unlimited this low could look foolish. The Denver Broncos quarterback is surrounded by weapons and is in a quality offensive system to help him thrive. However, it’s been a major struggle for Wilson in his first season with the Broncos. The future Hall of Famer has thrown just four touchdowns in as many games and is leading the NFL’s third-worst scoring offense. Is Russell Wilson now officially past his prime?
80. Jevon Holland, safety, Miami Dolphins
Let’s be clear here. Holland should have earned a Pro Bowl spot as a rookie for the Dolphins. But now that this is one of the best teams in the league, the former Oregon star is finally being recognized. In addition to putting up 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception, Holland has given up a 28.6 QB rating when targeted. Talk about doing it all.
79. Saquon Barkley, running back, New York Giants
Yes, Barkley is right back in his rightful place in our NFL top 100. After two consecutive injury-plagued seasons, the former No. 2 pick has been simply brilliant for a surprising Giants team. Heading into Week 5, Barkley leads the league in rush attempts (84), rushing yards (463), total touches (99), and total yards (570). He’s on pace for 2,422 total yards. Let’s just hope the kid stays healthy.
78. Jalen Hurts, quarterback, Philadelphia Eagles
NFL MVP candidate Jalen Hurts? At this point, that doesn’t seem too ridiculous. The former Oklahoma star has Philadelphia undefeated on the season and averaging nearly 29 points per game. From an individual perspective, he’s put up eight total touchdowns and two interceptions while averaging 331 total yards per game. That seems pretty solid.
77. Frank Ragnow, center, Detroit Lions
The only member of the Detroit Lions on our initial 2022 NFL top 100 players list, Frank Ragnow missed a majority of the 2021 season with a turf toe. He returns to the field in 2022, a huge boost to the Lions as he’ll clear some run lanes for D’Andre Swift and help keep the interior clean for Jared Goff.
76. Deshaun Watson, quarterback, Cleveland Browns
The last time we saw quarterback Deshaun Watson play a meaningful snap was over a year ago. He’s now suspended for the first 11 games of the season after allegations of sexual misconduct from north of 20 women. However, this is also the same quarterback who posted a 112.4 QB rating with a 33-7 TD-INT ratio in 2020. When he’s on the field, he’s one of the most talented players in football.
75. Marcus Williams, safety, Baltimore Ravens
In desperate need of a difference-maker in the secondary, the Baltimore Ravens opened up the checkbook for Marcus Williams. It has paid off big time thus far this season with Williams having registered five passes defended and three interceptions while yielding a 67.1 QB rating. That seems solid.
74. Wyatt Teller, guard, Cleveland Browns
Wyatt Teller is the security detail for Nick Chubb. A fifth-round pick in 2018, Cleveland acquired him from the Buffalo Bills for fifth-and sixth-round picks before the 2019 season. He’s now a two-time selection to the second-team All-Pro squad and is one of the best-run blockers in the game.
73. Jalen Ramsey, cornerback, Los Angeles Rams
There was a time when Jalen Ramsey was the best cornerback in the NFL. We’re not too sure anymore. He’s regressed early on in 2022, yielding a 64% completion mark and a 100.0 QB rating in four games. With that said, we should expect him to rebound. The dude is still only 27 years old and has a lot left in the tank.
72. Eric Kendricks, linebacker, Minnesota Vikings
In a pass-heavy league, linebackers who can drop back in coverage and lock down the middle are increasingly valuable. While Eric Kendricks might not be a strong run defender, he’s always proven himself against the pass.
71. D.K Metcalf, wide receiver, Seattle Seahawks
If ranking NFL players based on pure physical talent, DK Metcalf is much higher on the list. While the quarterback situation will significantly impact his production, Metcalf can be a matchup nightmare who is always capable of a 200-yard game if the football is thrown in his vicinity.
70. Derwin James, safety, Los Angeles Chargers
Just recently signed to a huge extension, James continues to prove himself as one of the best safeties in the game. He’s put up three passes defended, two QB hits, two tackles for loss, and a sack while yielding an 80.3 QB rating this season. Talk about doing it all.
69. Creed Humphrey, center, Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs felt confident that Creed Humphrey could handle being the center for Patrick Mahomes, even as a rookie. Not only did the 63rd overall pick hold up in his rookie season, but he also dominated the competition with far more experience. We’re likely just a year or two away from Humphrey being the best center in football after he started his sophomore campaign strong.
68. Christian McCaffrey, running back, San Francisco 49ers
Can Christian McCaffrey stay healthy? When he isn’t limited by soft-tissue problems or on injured reserve, the former Carolina Panther arguably has the most dangerous offensive weapon in the NFL. Now that he’s healthy and a member of the San Francisco 49ers after a blockbuster trade, McCaffrey can do more damage. As it is, he’s on pace for nearly 1,900 total yards this season.
67. Minkah Fitzpatrick, safety, Pittsburgh Steelers
It’s fair to argue the reputation surrounding Minkah Fitzpatrick might have surpassed his play in the past two seasons. A first-team All-Pro selection in 2019 and 2020, the 25-year-old safety wasn’t as sharp against the pass in 2021. Though, he has improved in that category early on in 2022 (56% completion, 47 QB rating allowed).
66. Kenny Clark, defensive tackle, Green Bay Packers
Kenny Clark (64 pressures in 2021) has managed to deliver phenomenal production under the circumstances in Green Bay. For years, the Packers really couldn’t find a player to help make his job easier on the inside. With Devonte Wyatt and Jarran Reed now on the roster, Clark should see a lot fewer double teams and that could yield even better results. That’s been the case with Clark in 2022 (5 QB hits, and 2 sacks in four games).
65. Demario Davis, linebacker, New Orleans Saints
Signed by the New Orleans Saints in 2018, Demario Davis went from a player bouncing around the league to earning All-Pro honors in three consecutive seasons. Now in his age-33 season, Davis is once again serving as a leader in the middle of the Saints’ defense that stands out against the pass and run.
64. Corey Linsley, center, Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers made protecting Justin Herbert their top priority in the 2021 offseason. Corey Linsley quickly proved why he is the best center in the NFL, allowing zero sacks and just two quarterback hits (PFF) last season in 724 pass-block snaps.
63. Trey Hendrickson, edge rusher, Cincinnati Bengals
Anyone left wondering if Trey Hendrickson’s breakout 2020 season was the product of great talent around him that was erased this past year. The Cincinnati Bengals struck gold with the FAU alum and he should have a few more double-digit sack seasons ahead of him.
62. Dak Prescott, quarterback, Dallas Cowboys
Putting quarterback Dak Prescott this high in the NFL top 100 player rankings is betting on what he showed early last season. Before playing through a leg injury, Prescott posted a 115 QB rating, a 73.2% completion rate, and a 16-4 TD-INT ratio. Unfortunately, Prescott is currently sidelined after undergoing surgery on his throwing hand after Week 1.
61. Brian Burns, edge rusher, Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panther’s defense flew under the radar in 2021 and so did Brian Burns as a result. In his first three NFL seasons, the 6-foot-5 edge rusher out of Florida State generated 55 quarterback hits, 26 tackles for loss, and 25.5 sacks. An easy choice for our NFL Top 100 players list now, Burns could push for a top 50 spot by midseason.
60. Darren Waller, tight end, Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller already had a pair of 1,000-yard seasons on his resume. Now, defenses will be so focused on stopping Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow that Waller will practically be operating in open space. We could be looking at the best receiving tight end in the NFL by 2023. It all depends on further continuity with Derek Carr.
59. Kyler Murray, quarterback, Arizona Cardinals
Some will label quarterback Kyler Murray as a first-half player. He posted a 112.2 QB rating and a 72.7% completion rate in his first nine starts last year followed by an 85.6 QB rating and 64.8% completion rate in his last five games. The truth is, Murray has struggled to open the 2022 season, too. He’s thrown just five touchdowns in four games and has Arizona’s scoring offense in the middle of the pack.
58. Patrick Surtain II, cornerback, Denver Broncos
If you’re looking for a player who could challenge for a top-25 spot within the next two years, it’s Patrick Surtain II. He flashed elite ability during his rookie season, all while still learning on the job. Now that the Denver Broncos pass rush is improved, the corner is in the midst of a breakout performance. Opposing signal callers have completed 55% of the passes thrown in his direction with a QB rating of 64.6. Talk about being a shut-down guy.
57. Grady Jarrett, defensive tackle, Atlanta Falcons
While the Atlanta Falcons might be one of the worst NFL teams in 2022, there is some talent on this roster. Grady Jarrett is arguably one of the most underrated linemen in the NFL, stuck facing double-teams because there isn’t much help around him, but none the those assigned to block Garrett would disagree that he is one of the top 100 NFL players.
56. Kevin Byard, safety, Tennessee Titans
A third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Kevin Byard earned first-team All-Pro honors in just his second NFL season. Unsurprisingly, one of the best defensive backs in the NFL received that recognition once again in 2021. Opponents are advised to stay away from the Middle Tennessee State product who racked up 13 pass deflections and five INTs last season.
55. Antoine Winfield Jr, safety, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The son of former All-Pro corner Antoine Winfield Sr., Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. has only played two-plus seasons in the NFL and he’s already one of the best safeties. He is the same caliber of playmaker we saw in college, ruining dreams of big plays by quarterbacks every other week.
54. David Bakhtiari, left tackle, Green Bay Packers
It comes down to health for David Bakhtiari. If the Green Bay Packers left tackle is on the field and playing at his usual standard, he’s a top-25 player. Unfortunately, he didn’t play a meaningful snap since December of 2020 prior to returning in Week 4 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That’s something to keep an eye on.
53. Trevon Diggs, cornerback, Dallas Cowboys
Diggs, 24, is not done making NFL top 100 lists. He should be a consistent force on these for years to come after racking up a whopping 11 interceptions last season. The issue here is that Diggs also yielded the most receiving yards (907) among corners. It has been a different case in 2022 with Diggs having already picked off two passes while giving up a mere 54.9 QB rating when targeted.
52. DeAndre Hopkins, wide receiver, Arizona Cardinals
The suspension isn’t to blame for this fall by DeAndre Hopkins. Instead, it’s a concern shared with Christian McCaffrey. Hamstring injuries are becoming a recurring problem. Nuk is one of the best of his generation pulling down contested catches, but even the Arizona Cardinals can’t count on him being healthy all year.
51. Mike Evans, wide receiver, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Only six players in NFL history have eight consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, including Hall of Famers Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, and Marvin Harrison. Mike Evans is the only player to accomplish that feat in his first eight NFL seasons. Expect another 1,000 yards in 2022, which would put him in company with only Rice and Tim Brown.
50. Marshon Lattimore, cornerback, New Orleans Saints
Marshon Lattimore perfectly captures the state of cornerbacks today. For the No. 1 corners outside of the ‘elite’ tier, there can be some variation in how they perform. After allowing a 103.3 QB rating when targeted in 2020, per PFF, Lattimore looked a lot more like a shutdown weapon on the boundary. Thus far in 2022, that’s been magnified with the Ohio State product giving up a 74.5 QB rating.
49. Jaylen Waddle, wide receiver, Miami Dolphins
Explosive. Dynamic. A true threat to take it the distance. That has defined Jaylen Waddle’s game since Miami made him a first-round pick in 2021. This has never been more apparent than in 2022 with Waddle having already caught 21 passes for 381 yards and three touchdowns in just four games.
48. Lane Johnson, offensive tackle, Philadelphia Eagles
Lane Johnson, one of the NFL’s leading voices for mental health awareness, is also one of the game’s best offensive linemen. He played over 800 snaps last season and continues to play at a high level even through injuries. He’s a big part of the reason why one of the best NFL offensive lines resides in Philly.
47. Derrick Henry, running back, Tennessee Titans
A top-10 player on our list in 2021, Derrick Henry takes a tumble during the 2022 NFL season. There’s a chance the foot injury is just a freak occurrence, but 955 touches in three seasons take a toll on a running back. If Henry proves he can stay healthy, he’s one of the 20 best players in the NFL. He’s done that through four games but is averaging what would be a career-low 4.0 yards per rush.
46. Terron Armstead, offensive tackle, Miami Dolphins
After years of issues on the offensive line, the Miami Dolphins found an answer with Terron Armstead. He’s coming off an injury-plagued 2021 season, but there’s little doubt Armstead is one of the best pass blockers in football when healthy.
45. Khalil Mack, defensive end, Los Angeles Chargers
Khalil Mack certainly is no longer the caliber of player who created havoc and won Defensive Player of the Year. However, he remains an outstanding defender against the run and is perfectly suited to star in Los Angeles. In his first four games as a member of the Chargers, Mack has registered 7 QB hits and five sacks. Yeah, he still has it.
44. Von Miller, edge, rusher, Buffalo Bills
Any notion that Von Miller was declining went away. After missing the 2020 season, Miller came alive and looked even more effective in eight games with the Los Angeles Rams (12 tackles for loss, eight sacks in eight games). Now one of the highest-paid NFL players, Miller is having an impact with his new Bills team (five tackles for loss and three sacks in four games).
43. A.J. Terrell, cornerback, Atlanta Falcons
The 16th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, A.J. Terrell showed some promising signs in his rookie season. He put it all together and took it to another level in 2021. Terrell held opponents to a 61.0 QB rating when targeted in 2021. This season has seen him struggle to an extent (three touchdowns allowed). But he’s still a top-end young player and one of our NFL top 100 players.
42. Shaquill Leonard, linebacker, Indianapolis Colts
Whether he is viewed as the No. 1 player in his position, Shaquill Leonard has one of the best stories in the NFL. Drafted out of South Carolina State, Leonard earned first-team All-Pro honors as a rookie and has earned a spot on the All-Pro ballot every year. Formerly going by Darius Leonard, injuries have caught up to him to an extent.
41. Vita Vea, defensive tackle, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Injuries are likely responsible for Vita Vea being a bit lower on other NFL top 100 players’ lists. While it’s a factor to consider, he is just so overwhelming as a run defender that opposing teams stop even trying. When you can make that type of impact on the game, you’re a top 50 player.
40. George Kittle, tight end, San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49er’s offense is simply different when George Kittle is out there. Sure, Kyle Shanahan loves a pass-catching weapon with 3,974 receiving yards in his last 52 games heading into 2022. What really makes him so valuable, Kittle seems to love blocking just as much as touchdowns. That’s taken precedence in 2022 with Kittle having put up just six catches for 52 yards in two games.
39. Jeffery Simmons, defensive tackle, Tennesse Titans
Just look back at what Jeffery Simmons did against the Cincinnati Bengals. He almost single-handedly won the game, racking up three sacks, three tackles for loss, and three quarterback hits. He is capable of taking over a game in an instant and that makes him someone offenses must always fear.
38. Fred Warner, linebacker, San Francisco 49ers
Fred Warner is the best linebacker in the NFL. The backbone of the San Francisco 49ers defense, the 6-foot-3 defensive weapon is just as good at making plays in coverage as he is stopping the run. As long as Warner is on the field, the 49ers’ defense is one of the top units in football.
37. A.J. Brown, wide receiver, Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t hesitate to flip a first-round pick for A.J. Brown. He’s already racked up 2,995 receiving yards in his first 43 games with the Tennessee Titans. Now catching passes from Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia, Brown has upped his game even more. He’s currently on pace for 106 catches and north of 1,700 yards. That seems decent.
36. Darius Slay, cornerback, Philadelphia Eagles
One of the best boundary cornerbacks in the NFL, Darius Slay had even more pressure on him as the only reliable defensive back in the Philadelphia Eagles secondary last year. He did more than hold his own, allowing just 10.4 yards per reception and a 76.1 passer rating when targeted (PFF). Now that the Eagles have rebuilt their secondary around him, the four-time Pro Bowler is playing at an even higher level (29.2% completion, 24.5 QB rating).
35. DeForest Buckner, defensive tackle, Indianapolis Colts
The Indianapolis Colts didn’t hesitate when DeForest Buckner became available for a first-round pick. In two-plus seasons since joining the Colts, Buckner is responsible for 46 quarterback hits, 21 tackles for loss, and 16.5 sacks in 36 games. But much like the rest of his Colts team, there’s been struggles on this front in 2022.
34. Joel Bitonio, guard, Cleveland Browns
One of the most well-paid linemen in the NFL, Joel Bitonio developed from a second-round pick out of Nevada into a perennial All-Pro honoree. Amid so many changes in the Browns’ offense, Bitonio is the stabilizing force and he always performs at a high level.
33. Ryan Ramczyk, offensive tackle, New Orleans Saints
There are plenty of reasons for concern with the New Orleans Saints offense in 2022, but Ryan Ramczyk isn’t one of them. The 6-foot-6 right tackle clears running lanes like a bulldozer and allowed just two quarterback hits in 361 pass-block snaps last year. He is the best of the best.
32. Maxx Crosby, edge rusher, Las Vegas Raiders
Expectations weren’t absurdly high for Maxx Crosby when he entered the league, that’s the norm for a fourth-round pick in the NFL Draft. Selected 106th overall in 2019, the Raiders’ 6-foot-5 edge rusher emerged as one of the best defensive players in the NFL. Now paired with Chandler Jones, Crosby could set a career-high in sacks this fall.
31. Chris Jones, defensive tackle, Kansas City Chiefs
When the Kansas City Chiefs line up Chis Jones at his natural position, he’s a phenomenal defensive lineman. The 6-foot-6 defensive tackle has racked up 94 quarterback hits, 41 sacks, 38 tackles for loss, and 18 pass deflections across the last four seasons. If the exterior pass rush improves, Jones could do even more this fall.
30. Joey Bosa, defensive end, Los Angeles Chargers
While he might have been surpassed by his brother, Joey Bosa is still one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. The 6-foot-5 edge defender was set to benefit from the addition of Khalil Mack before he suffered a groin injury earlier in the season. It doesn’t push Bosa down any in our list of NFL’s top 100 players as he should be back in no time.
29. Tristan Wirfs, offensive tackle, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tristan Wirfs became one of the best right tackles in football upon his arrival in the NFL. In nearly 1,5000 pass-blocking snaps, Wirfs surrendered just three sacks and nine quarterback hits. Tom Brady didn’t expect to have a shield like this protecting his right side when he signed with the Bucs, but Wirfs is one of the biggest reasons Brady remains an MVP threat.
28. Quenton Nelson, guard, Indianapolis Colts
When healthy, Quenton Nelson is the best interior offensive lineman in the NFL. He dealt with some issues last year, but the Indianapolis Colts guard remains an indispensable part of the team’s success. If he is available all year and returns to form, Nelson will move back up our NFL top 100 player rankings.
27. Ja’Marr Chase, wide receiver, Cincinnati Bengals
A year away from football didn’t slow down Ja’Marr Chase in the slightest. As a rookie, the Cincinnati Bengals receiver ranked third in the NFL in yards per target (136.0). With a pair of 200-yard games in his first season and eight games of 70-plus yards, Chase proved he is one of the best receivers in football.
26. Rashan Gary, edge rusher, Green Bay Packers
Viewed as a minor draft bust early in his career, Rashan Gary put everything together in 2021. The former 12th overall pick stepped up in the absence of Za’Darius Smith, compiling 28 quarterback hits and proving he is the new star pass rusher in Green Bay. He picked it up even more in 2022, racking up six QB hits, five tackles for loss, and five sacks in four games. Talk about domination.
25. Jonathan Taylor, running back, Indianapolis Colts – Best NFL running back in 2022
The torch is officially passed. Even if you put Henry’s injury red flags aside, the modern NFL places an emphasis on running backs who thrive in a three-down role. Jonathan Taylor led the NFL in missed tackles forced (66), runs of 10-plus yards (50) and he ranked third in Elusive Rating (77.2). On top of all this, he ranked ninth among backs in yards per reception (9.0) and 10th in routes run (264). He is everything you want and more in an elite running back.
24. Joe Burrow, quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow did the unthinkable, that’s why he vaulted so high in our NFL top 100 players list. A year removed from a gruesome knee injury, Burrow ended a streak of 31 years without a Bengals’ playoff win. Oh, he also led all NFL quarterbacks in on-target rate (82.8%) and passer rating when pressured (92.4).
23. Deebo Samuel, wide receiver, San Francisco 49ers
Call him a wide receiver or a wide back, Deebo Samuel just wants to be appreciated. A 1,000-yard receiver who also generated nearly as many more missed tackles forced (28) as Lamar Jackson (30) and had the third-highest yards after-contact average (4.1) in the NFL. Put the football in Samuel’s hands and he does special things.
22. Zack Martin, guard, Dallas Cowboys
Consistently elite, that describes Zack Martin. The best interior lineman in pro football. Over his last three seasons, the Dallas Cowboys guard has allowed just two combined sacks and 51 pressures in 1,765 pass-blocking snaps. If you are facing Martin, you aren’t getting by him.
21. Mark Andrews, tight end, Baltimore Ravens
Mark Andrews enjoyed a career-best season in 22021, snagging 107 receptions for 1,361 receiving yards. Frankly, the totals might have been even higher if not for the injury to Jackson. Improvements in the receiving game for Andrews, paired with his effectiveness as a blocker, make him one of the three best tight ends in the NFL.
20. T.J. Watt, edge rusher, Pittsburgh Steelers
If the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t have T.J. Watt, they might have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Watt accounted for 30.6% of their pressures and 41% of their sacks last season. A first-team All-Pro selection in each of the last three years, the 27-year-old is already outproducing his contract. Unfortunately, Watt will miss substantial time after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in the season opener.
19. Travis Kelce, tight end, Kansas City Chiefs – Best tight end in NFL
Even if he isn’t the best blocking tight end in the NFL, Travis Kelce is one of the best offensive weapons in the sport. It’s simply unfair that a 6-foot-5 person can move this fast, outmuscling defensive backs and outrunning linebackers. Expect a fifth consecutive season of Kelce generating a 100-plus passer rating when he is targeted, even with Tyreek Hill gone. Let’s enjoy one of the best tight ends in NFL history.
18. Davante Adams, wide receiver, Las Vegas Raiders
Davante Adams wanted a quarterback downgrade this season, but a lack of chemistry with his new signal-caller won’t be a problem. Adams and Derek Carr formed one of the best quarterback-receiver duos in recent college football history back at Fresno State. Now together in the NFL, Carr should love catching passes from a quarterback who had a higher on-target rate (77.4%) than Rodgers last year. Adams caught 10 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown in his Raiders debut. And after struggles over the next two games, he performed well in a Week 4 win over the Broncos.
17. Jaire Alexander, cornerback, Green Bay Packers
Jaire Alexander missed a majority of the 2021 NFL season. So, the best way to highlight one of the best NFL cornerbacks is to look back a year prior. In 2020, Alexander surrendered the third-lowest reception rate (50.7), the second-lowest yards per reception (9.6), and the second-lowest passer rating allowed (68.3). Green Bay already had a good defense and a healthy Alexander makes it so much better.
16. Nick Chubb, running back, Cleveland Browns
In terms of pure rushing ability, Nick Chubb might be the best running back in the NFL. He is impossible to take down at times, highlighted by PFF with a league-high missed tackles forced per rushing attempt (0.25). He does get knocked down among the NFL’s top 100 players for not being an excellent threat on passing downs, but Chubb is among the best at what he does.
15. Tyreek Hill, wide receiver, Miami Dolphins
We’re going to see Tyreek Hill without Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. While we might not see as many deep shots to Hill, Miami Dolphins play-caller Mike McDaniel knows how to utilize one of the most electric playmakers we’ve ever seen in the NFL. In fact, Hill’s new role could showcase even more than anyone ever expected from him. With a league-high 477 receiving yards through four games, that’s come to fruition.
14. Justin Jefferson, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings
Give Justin Jefferson an elite quarterback and everyone might view him as the best receiver in football. He enters the 2022 season just 1,148 yards shy of breaking the NFL record for most receiving yards in the first three seasons (Randy Moss – 4,163). It feels safe to project the record being broken. One of the best deep threats in the league, Jefferson could be a top-10 player on this list a few months from now. After recording nine catches for 184 yards and two scores against Green Bay in Week 1, that could come sooner rather than later.
13. Tom Brady, quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Best NFL player ever
12. Justin Herbert, quarterback, Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert showed flashes of superstardom as a rookie. In 2021, he reached that level more consistently. Coming off a year with a 108.1 QB rating on 20-plus yard throws, Herbert can challenge Josh Allen for both the AFC title and the crown as best downfield passer in 2022.
The Tom Brady retirement created some fun drama, but everyone knew the NFL MVP candidate wouldn’t walk away like that. Entering his age-45 season, many keep waiting for Father Time to defeat the greatest quarterback in NFL history. We’ll keep betting on the passer who set career highs despite some initial struggles to open the 2022 season.
11. Stefon Diggs, wide receiver, Buffalo Bills
While the production for Stefon Diggs dipped a bit in 2021, he still delivered his fourth consecutive 1,000-yard campaign. Once the 146th player picked in the 2015 NFL Draft, Diggs is now one of the elites at his position and a huge reason for Josh Allen becoming a perennial MVP threat. His absurd start to the 2022 season magnifies this,
- Stefon Diggs career stats: 7,383 receiving yards, 48 touchdowns in seven seasons
NFL top 100: The 10 Best current American football players
10. Trent Williams, offensive tackle, San Francisco 49ers
Trent Williams is the best offensive lineman in the NFL. Across 608 pass-blocking snaps in 2021, the veteran tackle allowed just six quarterback hits and one sack (PFF). He is the very definition of a brick wall, keeping even the best pass rushers away from the quarterback. Unfortunately, Williams now finds himself sidelined with an ankle sprain and will be out for some time.
9. Lamar Jackson, quarterback, Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson certainly didn’t meet expectations in 2021. When you consider the injuries to the Ravens’ offensive line and at running back, the production he put up looks a lot better with the context. That’s come to fruition with a dominating start to the 2022 season for the former NFL MVP. He’s now one of the best NFL players.
- Lamar Jackson 2022: 64% completion, 531 passing yards, 136 rushing yards, 7 TD, 1 INT, 120.1 QB rating
8. Myles Garrett, edge rusher, Cleveland Browns
Myles Garrett is one of the most dominant players in the NFL when healthy. He’s already recorded 121 hits and 61.5 sacks in his first 71 games, well on his way to a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On pace for 17 sacks in 2022, Garrett isn’t slowing down any time soon.
7. Micah Parsons, edge, Dallas Cowboys
It might be a surprise to some that a second-year player grabs the No. 12 spot among our NFL NFL top 100 players. Look at what Micah Parsons accomplished in his rookie season, per PFF. He held opponents to an 80.9 passer rating when targeted in coverage, recorded 20 tackles for loss, and tacked on 13 sacks. Factor in his defensive versatility in the modern NFL and that elevates Parson’s value. Parson’s two-sack performance against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 has him looking like a true star.
6. Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Green Bay Packers – Highest paid NFL player
Back-to-back NFL MVP awards. Not bad for a quarterback the Green Bay Packers seemed ready to replace a few years ago. There are some legitimate worries about how Aaron Rodgers will perform without Adams. That was taken to a new level in an ugly Week 1 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in which Rodgers failed to score a touchdown while turning the ball over two times. Green Bay has since won three consecutive.
5. Nick Bosa, edge rusher, San Francisco 49ers
In his first season back from a torn ACL, San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Nick Bosa looked like a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. He is one of the rare draft picks who became one of the best NFL players the second he stepped foot on the field. That has been taken to a whole new level with Bosa leading the league in sacks and pressures while racking up 16 QB hits in just four games. Jeez.
4. Cooper Kupp, wide receiver, Los Angeles Rams – Best wide receiver in NFL
Cooper Kupp delivered the best single season by a wide receiver in NFL history. From the regular season stats (1,947 receiving yards, 16 touchdowns) to his playoff excellence – 478 yards and six touchdowns – the Super Bowl LVI MVP delivered a season for the ages, also leading the NFL in yards after catch (855). Even if he doesn’t repeat the numbers in 2022, he deserves this title. Though, he could be close to repeating these numbers as Kupp leads the NFL in both receptions and targets. In fact, he’s on pace for 179 catches.
3. Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes is in the midst of his first NFL season without Tyreek Hill, creating discussion about how he’ll perform without an elite receiver. Even if he doesn’t post MVP-caliber production, this is the same quarterback who posted a 113.3 QB rating on throws of 20-plus yards last season. The one thing keeping him from a higher spot among the NFL’s top 100 players, is a second-half performance in the AFC title game with a 1.4 quarterback rating. With that said, Mahomes dominated the Arizona Cardinals to the tune of five touchdowns in a Week 1 win and just outplayed Tom Brady in a Chiefs blowout Week 4 outing.
2. Aaron Donald, defensive tackle, Los Angeles Rams – Best NFL player in 2022
There’s a reason the Los Angeles Rams made Aaron Donald the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history. The 6-foot-1 defensive tackle overwhelmed opponents again in 2021, racking up 25 quarterback hits and 12.5 sacks. Naturally, he saved his biggest moments for the game-winning plays in the NFC Championship Game and Super Bowl. Donald is the best NFL player on the defensive side of the ball in 2022 and one of the best defensive players ever.
1. Josh Allen, quarterback, Buffalo Bills – Best quarterback in NFL
Who is the best quarterback in the NFL? It comes down to Josh Allen vs Patrick Mahomes, Allen did more with less in the past two seasons and he’s undeniably the more dangerous runner. What we’ve seen early in the 2022 campaign adds a new layer to this.
- Josh Allen stats (2022): 75% completion, 614 passing yards, 66 rushing yards, 8 total TD, 2 INT, 123.7 QB rating
With Mahomes facing the uncertainty of a production dip with Hill gone, Allen gets the QB1 nod. Allan opened the 2022 season by putting up north of 350 total yards and four touchdowns in a win over the Los Angeles Rams and followed that up with a dominating Week 2 outing against the Tennessee Titans. Right now, he ranks No. 1 in our NFL top 100.